by Hazel Stark
For a second year in a row, all Harrington Elementary students got to explore the woods around their schoolyard with Maine Outdoor School. Half the school was led by MOS Naturalist Educator Hazel Stark, while the other half was led by MOS Naturalist Educator Joe Horn. Activities and learning standards varied from class to class, but all students experienced the natural wonders hidden on Harrington Elementary’s campus while focusing on outdoor exploration and understanding.
Some of the youngest students experienced the three states of matter by finding outdoor examples of solids, liquids, and gas. Others compared the needs of plants and animals by building models out of natural objects outdoors that demonstrated how plants and animals can meet their needs. The Pre-K students found and built their own animal habitats to demonstrate their understanding of what makes a good habitat. 3rd-graders looked for evidence of how water affects ecosystems.
Older students learned about cloud formation and did a series of experiments to understand this complex process. Others discovered an impressive woodpecker tree and worked on identifying all the different living things they could find, including the discovery of a newborn fawn left momentarily by its mother!
Despite the age span of Pre-K to 6th grade, the forests and fields behind Harrington Elementary offered a wonderfully rich learning experience for students, teachers, and MOS staff alike!